‘Best intel cop’ killed during third drug bust of the day
On his third antidrug mission for the day, a policeman credited with 65 recent arrests and described by his superior as the “best intelligence officer I have ever known” was shot dead by a “shabu” peddler in Antipolo City, officials said.
Senior Insp. Mark Gil Garcia, 37, chief of the special operations unit of the Rizal provincial police, was with a team that conducted a buy-bust operation shortly before 8 p.m. on Friday in Sitio Maagay 1, Barangay Inarawan.
According to the Antipolo police chief, Supt. Simnar Gran, the team’s designated poseur buyer met with two pushers: William Malana and his still unidentified cohort.
After Malana handed over P300 worth of shabu, he sensed the trap and ran back to his house, prompting Garcia to follow him. Malana’s partner was shot dead. As Garcia entered Malana’s house, the suspect shot the officer with an improvised shotgun, hitting him in the upper left thigh.
Malana was also killed by the other officers while Garcia died two hours later at Antipolo District Hospital due to blood loss, Gran said.
The Antipolo mission was Garcia’s third on Friday, according to the provincial police chief, Senior Supt. Adriano Enong Jr.
The first was carried out in the late afternoon at Sunstrip Subdivision in Barangay San Isidro, Angono, where Garcia’s team arrested six drug suspects, including a reported member of the Army. The second was in Barangay San Isidro in Taytay, where they arrested one more.
“He was one of my most hardworking, efficient and brightest policemen. He worked nonstop,” Enong said in an Inquirer interview at Garcia’s wake in Dolores, Taytay.
“He is the best intelligence officer I have ever known. He was not expected to be in the operations—he only had to supervise them—but he was there. He was a good leader,” Enong said, adding that posthumous honors will be given to the slain officer.
Garcia led operations that resulted in the arrest of 65 drug suspects in Rizal since June. “That’s practically one arrest per day,” Enong noted.
A 2004 graduate from the Philippine National Police Academy, Garcia previously served as an aide of then Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno. He also was a former police chief of Jala Jala, Rizal.
His widow, Judy, recalled pleading with her husband to “take a break” from police work in their last conversation. “But he told me ‘not yet’ since he still had an important thing to do.”
The couple have three young children, the youngest a 2-month-old son. “I don’t know what will happen to us now. I hope they will provide my children with scholarships considering what (their father) had given to the country and to his profession.”
President Duterte, who has already sent flowers for the dead, was reportedly scheduled to visit the wake.
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